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For the past year, The Writer’s Center in Bethesda has been home to the free series Story/Stereo, which pairs readings by local writers with performances by local musicians. This week the musician is Devin Ocampo, the D.C. music vet and post-punk force of nature known for his work with bands like Medications, Smart Went Crazy, Faraquet, and Beauty Pill.
The show is billed as “Devin Ocampo Sings Devin Ocampo,” so expect to hear a dozen or so songs culled from his career, interpreted with just an electric guitar and some help from Medications multi-instrumentalist Mark Cisneros. Originally, the whole Medications crew was asked to play, but co-songwriter Chad Molter, who lives in Colorado, couldn’t make it.
Ocampo has never played solo before—-at least as Devin Ocampo. “I’m not so fond of things under people’s names,” Ocampo says. “It’s a little bit off-the-cuff, but I’m kind of more excited about it rather than trepidatious,” he said.
But tonight’s venture into frontman-goes-solo territory isn’t necessarily a one-off. “It’s still up in the air,” Ocampo says. “I guess it depends how often Medications is able to play.”
At the request of Story/Stereo curator (and Beauty Pill leader) Chad Clark, Ocampo might whip out a cover of P.J. Harvey‘s “Rid of Me,” mined from the early days of Faraquet. Could be cool, he says. Indeed.
If you’re holding out for an evening of unplugged math-rock, don’t expect any major overhauls of these songs. They’ll just be “slightly reworked and with the bass taken out,” Ocampo says.
Still, he’s quick to point out they’ll still have some firepower. “It’s not gonna be as blown-out and loud or rock band-ish the whole time,” he says. “We’re not gonna be quiet, but I think the songs themselves will be in a more of a naked fashion and hopefully shine more in that form.”
Ocampo performs and Doreen Baingana and Alison Pelegrin read tonight at 7:30 p.m. at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda. Admission is free, so you should probably go.